I recently purchased a half gallon of Delicious Orchards apple cider for chicken and dumplings. I only needed a small amount for the recipe, so what do I do with the rest of the cider? Besides drinking it, I prefer to use it in a recipe. I went through the New York Times Cooking app, which is very good resource for excellent recipes, and found a terrific one by David Tanis. The recipe is Pork Chops with Apples and Cider. Mr. Tanis spent a month in Normandy, France and discovered the region had an abundance of apples. It’s an area of France where there’s artisanal cider making and also the distilling of apples into Calvados, an apple brandy. Mr. Tanis came up with the following recipe based on the Normandy region where cider and cream are combined for a delicious sauce.
Based on the notes of other cooks who made this recipe, I wanted to make sure my boneless pork chops were at least 1” thick. Mr. Tanis suggested 1/2” pork chops. Other adjustments I made to his recipe based on what I had in my pantry include ground allspice instead of whole berries, cornstarch instead of potato starch and I used homemade crème fraîche (heavy cream and buttermilk) instead of purchasing it (available at Whole Foods and Wegmans).
The dry rub for the pork chops went together without any problem. I still have fresh sage in my garden which I finely chopped for the recipe. Also, I adjusted all the quantities for the recipe as I was only making two boneless pork chops for my husband and I. Based on some of the comments from some of the cooks, I wiped the herbs off the meat before sautéing. Some cooks thought the meat tasted salty. My pork sat with the herbs on it for a few hours. The taste infused the pork with wonderful flavor. I think the next time, I’ll leave it on.
While I was prepping the pork for supper, I found a recipe for delicata squash, which I picked up at Dreyer Farms in Cranford. On the website www.dinneratthezoo.com, the blogger, Sarah, had the most scrumptious recipe that used olive oil, brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon. The squash was tossed with these ingredients then roasted in the oven until they were beautifully caramelized.
This was a terrific dinner on cool evening. The pork was tender and the sauce flavorful. I loved the delicata squash. What is so great about delicata squash is that the skin is edible. I need to get a few more while they’re available. My husband also enjoyed the meal. These two recipes will be in my cooking rotation. As a matter of fact, if you wish to try the recipe using bone in pork loin chops, Whole Foods has them on special now through Tuesday, October 23rd for $4.99/lb. or $4.49/lb. if you are a prime member.
While on the subject of current Whole Food specials, they also have Beef Top Round Steak or London Broil on special for $5.99/lb.; for prime members $5.39/lb. Air-chilled whole chickens are $1.69/lb.
Pork Chops with Apples and Cider
The New York Times, October 5, 2012
“The City Kitchen” column, “A Taste of Fall in a Bottle of Hard Cider”
By David Tanis
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Time: About 1 hour
FOR THE SPICED SALT
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
4 allspice berries
2 tablespoons roughly chopped sage
1 and 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
FOR THE PORK AND SAUCE
6 boneless pork chops, 4 ounces each, about 1/2-inch thick
2 large apples
2 tablespoons butter
All-purpose flour, for dusting
½ cup hard cider, plus 2 tablespoons
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons potato starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
3 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 tablespoon Calvados, apple brandy or Cognac, optional
2 tablespoons finely cut chives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Brown Sugar Delicata Squash
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
2-3 lbs. delicata squash (about 2 average sized squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or more to taste
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.